Now, three star facility at railway retiring rooms

Now, three star facility at railway retiring rooms

Heralding a new era in the history of Indian Railways, South Western Railway (SWR), Mysore division signed an agreement with Hotel Sandesh Pvt Ltd for the upgradation of retiring rooms at Mysore Railway station under ROT scheme through public private partnership, here on Wednesday.

Highlighting the salient features of the partnership, senior divisional commercial manager Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu said this is the first time that such an agreement had been signed in the entire country which could become a role model for other railway stations.

There was total transparency in the selection of the agency with highest bidder being given the contract after calling of expression of interest, evaluation of bids including technical and financial bids, he revealed.

The reason for taking this step was because the SWR had suffered a net loss of  ` 10,21, 960 in 2010-11 and ` 11,47,960 in the year 2009-10 in running the retiring rooms.

Accepting that railways was in no position to run the rooms, Sadhu said the objective of the PPP was to improve the condition of the retiring rooms, bring in professionalism in service without compromising quality, improve service standards, increase revenue and image of the railways.

Compulsory amenities

The hotel has to provide compulsory amenities like well furnished room of three star standards, reception facility with telephone, LED television in rooms with cable connection, room service as earlier there was no such facility, laundry Service, fire fighting arrangements and mini cloak room, he said.

Apart from this, the desirable amenities that has been planned include small outlet for sale of day to day toiletries, shoe shining machine, internet facilities on payment and tie up with local travel agencies for sight seeing. Online booking on its website has also been demanded, he said.

The key points of the agreement are a 15 years lease period, accommodation strictly for bonafide railway passengers, booking of rooms not more than seven days in advance, said Sadhu.

The railways by going in for the PPP will benefit about ` 25 lakh per annum as it will be saving on manpower, electricity, water, depreciation, replacement of linen.

By outsourcing the revenue will be nearly ` 10 lakh per annum, he said. Managing director and MLC Sandesh Nagaraj of hotel Sandesh said that they had no interest in making profit out of this venture and their only interest was to be on the national map.

Though the rooms will be of three star standard, the tariffs for the rooms will be  ` 1,150 for A/c suite, ` 1000 for A/c rooms and ` 850 for non-A/c rooms. The railways were charging ` 500 and ` 350 earlier for the A/c and non-A/c rooms, he added. The refurbished rooms will be ready in six months, he said.

Later, an agreement was signed by Sadhu and Sandesh Nagaraju. Divisional railway manager B B Verma and additional divisional railway manager Rakesh Gupta were also present.

Plans to replicate model

The average earning per year of the world class railway station in Mysore is ` 32.86 crore. The number of trains dealt per day is 34 pairs, number of passenger travelling per day is 22,885, the unreserved tickets sold per day is 21,002 and reserved tickets is 1,883, said Sadhu.

There were plans to upgrade retiring rooms in Hubli, Bangalore and a few other places too along the same model, he added.

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